By Iron Chef Leftovers
The second of the seasonally themed Mountainbeers from NW Peaks is their dessert beer – a nut brown ale made with the inclusion of actual pecans, basically setting you up for the end of the meal.
From the NW Peaks Website:
The name. The mountain. Easy Peak is not so much a mountain, but the high point on Easy Ridge, the ridge located on the other side of the Chilliwack river from popular Copper ridge. While the payoff is stupendous one must ford the Chilliwack river and ascend 3,000 feet back up to the ridge. On the ridge, I don’t know if there is a more beautiful, easy-going, completely back country experience in the N Cascades, including the hike up to the high point.
The beer. Last year we did Spickard Spice for Thanksgiving dinner, this year we moved towards Thanksgiving dessert. We brewed a nut brown as the base – a medium bodied, malty brown with a nice nutty hop (and malt) character. Per our desire to make a Thanksgiving beer, we added some pecans and pie spices, but just enough to give it a perceivable note. The result was a nut brown that dominates the character with a nice pecan note and a barely perceptible spicy note. With a nice brown color, the beer even has the color of a typical pecan pie, so we’d like to believe that it’s just like pecan pie in a glass. Maybe not “exactly”, but it goes down “easy as pie.”
The beer pours amber brown in color with hints of spice and nuts on the nose. The beer starts out on the palate with a nice mild sweetness before building into a slightly spicy nutmeg middle and then moves into deeper brown sugar and pecan nuttiness before finishing with a long, pleasant roasted pecan flavor. The beer has a small amount of perceptible pie spices, but they are definitely background flavors and work wonderfully supporting the deep richness of the nut flavors. This beer is really as close to a liquid pecan pie with great flavors of roasted nuts and I would love to see how this beer did if it got a short aging in a whiskey barrel (hint…hint). One note to add – when we drank this beer, we inadvertently left a small amount in the growler and ended up trying it a room temperature. The spice become the dominant flavor in the beer at that point, so I would say if you enjoy the nut flavor more than the spice, drink it around 45-55 degrees. If you want more noticeable spice flavor, go 55+ with your temp.
NW Peaks Easy Peak-an Nut Brown goes crazy with a spectacular 4 Carya illinoinensis out of 5.